Wednesday, Sep 17, 2008
After eating dinner with Task Force Thunder and Task Force Falcon, two
In all more than 1,000 Missourians are in Kosovo as part of the mission including:
.. 295 from the 1-129th Field Artillery Battalion out of Maryville, Albany, Independence
.. 135 from the 1128th Forward Support Company out of Marshall and Richmond
.. 177 from the 110th Maneuver Enhanced Brigade out of Kansas City
.. 47 from the 135th Signal Company out of Kansas City
.. 57 from the Joint Forces HQ & 70th Public Affairs Det out of Jefferson City
.. 62 from the Joint Forces HQ & 70th Troop Command out of St. Louis and Jefferson City
.. 51 from the 135th Rear Operations Center out of St. Louis
.. 70 from the 735th Force Provider Company out of Poplar Bluff
.. 170 from the 3175th MP Company out of Warrenton and Mexico
While in Kosovo, Gov. Blunt will meet with Kosovo Force leaders, spend time at Camp Bondsteel visiting with soldiers from Missouri, and take in a first hand view of the contributions Missourians are making in the area.
by Lenora Foerstel
August 26, 2008
The Trilateral Commission was founded in 1973 by David Rockefeller as an off-shoot of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR). David Rockefeller was chairman of the CFR in 1970 and subsequently became the founding chairman of the Trilateral Commission. Soon the membership of the Commission had grown to 300 members, including prominent political figures like Zbigniew Brzezinski. Most members of the Trilateral Commission are bankers, media moguls, or corporate CEOs, primarily from North America, Europe and Japan, while all members of the CFR are U.S. Citizens.
The Commission seeks to extend its influence abroad and is careful to avoid the scrutiny of congressional investigations. The CFR on the other hand, focuses on the control of American media.
When American media discuss globalism, they rarely mention that the Trilateral Commission sets most global economic goals, primary among them being the creation of a one-world system of trade. It is basically a form of fascism in which global corporations and their elite CEOs determine the policies and direction of world governments. The creation of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank after World War II was intended to encourage Third World countries to borrow money from wealthy nations, so long as they agreed to the imposition of a wide range of “structural adjustment policies.” Any nation borrowing money from either organization would not be allowed to nationalize its natural resources and would be unable to prevent foreign corporations from buying or controlling those resources.
Shortly before World War II, Hjalmer Schacht, a German banker, toured the United States soliciting American corporate support for Hitler’s new fascist state. U.S. corporations not only agreed to support Germany against the socialist economic system of the Soviet Union, but also declared their opposition to the strong labor movement arising in the United States and Europe.
General Motors was prominent among the corporations that supported the Nazi government, investing $20 million in industries owned or controlled by Herman Goering and other Nazi officials. Other US multinational corporations that profited from and supported Hitler’s industrial war machine included General Electric, Standard Oil, Texaco, International Harvester, ITT and IBM. Today, Standard Oil of New York is unabashed in honoring its chemical cartel that manufactured Zyklon-B, the poison gas used by the Nazi gas chambers. (1)
Among the eminent business leaders backing these multinational corporations were the Rockefellers and Prescott Bush, father of George Bush and grandfather of George W. Bush. Prescott Bush worked with his father-in-law, George Herbert Walker, in the family firm Union Banking Corporation to raise $50 million by selling German bonds to American investors from 1924 to 1930.
Even though the United States helped to defeat Nazi Germany in World War II, many of the powerful elite families continued to support Hitler’s fascist ideology after the war. John Rockefeller III was an uncritical believer in the doctrine of Thomas Robert Malthus, who claimed that population always increased at a geometric rate while food supply increased at the slower arithmetic rate. Malthus therefore concluded that population growth had to be rigidly controlled. Today, his theory is widely criticized for failing to take into account the vast technological advances in agriculture and food production.
Rockefeller also accepted Hitler’s concept of an Aryan race, leading him to propose population control on the poor and people of color, whom he believed were producing children of inferior intelligence. In an effort to support such views, the Rockefeller family became involved with Eugenics, a fascist doctrine that advocated breeding a superior race by eliminating the mentally ill, physically handicapped, and racially inferior.
During the 1920’s, anthropologist Franz Boaz helped to combat racial prejudice more than any of his contemporaries. Following in his steps was his young protégé, Margaret Mead, who went on to establish that nurture, not nature, was the primary determinant of human health and mental development. Their work showed that Eugenics was based on ideology, not science. The legitimate science of genetics emerged from the ashes of Eugenics, but even today, many geneticists are members of Eugenics societies.
Despite the demise of Eugenics, the theory of over-population remains a common political argument. It has been suggested by Henry Kissinger, a stout member of the Trilateral Commission, that countries that do not control their population should suffer sanctions and the human misery that accompanies them.
The US Congress has supported these early population concepts introduced by Rockefeller’s Foundation. In March 1970, Congress set up a “Commission on Population Growth and the American Future.” The commission included representatives from USAID, the State Department, and the Department of Agriculture, but CIA and Pentagon officials drew up the agenda. “Their objectives were not to assist developing countries, but as promoted by the Trilateral Commission, to curb world population with a view to serving US strategic and national security interests,” notes author Michel Chossudovsky.(2)
In 2007, more than 100 million tons of grain were used to make ethanol, which contributed to high global food prices and subsequent hunger and starvation. During this same year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization stated that there had been a record grain harvest, suggesting that there is enough food in the world to feed everyone. Indeed, over the last twenty years, food production has risen steadily at over two percent a year, while the rate of population growth has dropped to 1.4 percent a year. Access to food should be viewed as a fundamental human right, but corporations regard it only as a commodity to be sold for profit. No amount of technological progress or increase in food production can overcome corporate greed. The corporations ignore basic human needs, seeking to control world resources by encouraging the US government to build more and more military bases around the world. Presently, the US has 1000 such bases.
Under the Clinton administration, Yugoslavia was dismembered in order to advance American interests. In particular, the former Serbian province of Kosovo was occupied by U.S. troops in order to build Camp Bondsteel, among the largest military bases ever created by the United States. It will double as Kosovo’s largest prison, where prisoners can be held indefinitely without charges and without defense attorneys.(3)
Another major reason for building Camp Bondsteel was to provide protection for an oil pipeline to be built to the Caspian Sea. The Caspian holds some 50 billion gallons of oil, tempting foreign intervention in the Balkans. In an attempt to control Caspian oil, NATO and US troops have been sent to the Georgia.
As Latin America asserts its independence from the odious Monroe Doctrine, its progressive leaders face increasing American pressure and overt threats. These new leaders no longer rely on the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank. Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic have become members of the Bolivian Alternative for Latin America. This organization emphasizes local energy development and has become the bank of the South. This bank will not operate as a profit driven institution, but as a financial organization that will consider the economic needs of each borrower country.
In an effort to break up this new political organization in Latin America, the US has provided six billion dollars to Alvaro Uribe, President of Columbia, with the understanding that a US military base would follow. The base would be placed in La Guay, a region spanning Northeast Columbia and Northwest Venezuela, a clear threat to the Chavez government in Venezuela.
As in the Caucasus and Latin America, Africa is faced with American military expansion through AFRICOM. AFRICOM is the acronym for the US military command post planned for Sub-Sahara Africa. As pointed out by the members of the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL), AFRICOM will infringe on the rights of African states and will violate international law that protects the sovereignty of nations. African leaders are well aware that AFRICOM is intended to exploit Africa’s national resources.
It has become increasingly clear that the US military has been stretched thin, with insufficient forces to fight simultaneous wars and maintain the vast military bases it is establishing around the world. Responding to this problem, Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense, and Vice President Dick Cheney have turned to private military forces. Blackwater, a well-paid mercenary army, has become the world’s most powerful private military corporation. Troops for Blackwater are recruited from countries like the Philippines, Nepal, Columbia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Peru, and Chili. Some 60 former commandos have been recruited from the remnants of the army of former Chilean dictator Augusta Pinochet. They now serve as part of Blackwater’s fighting forces. Other mercenary armies available to the highest bidder include Amo Group, Eunyo, Hart Security, and the Military Professional Resources Incorporated (MPRI). (4)
In early August 1995, under former President Clinton, the MPRI mercenaries were sent to Croatia to train and assist the Croatian military in expelling ethnic Serbs from their villages in the Krajina, an area in Croatia.
American military bases are proliferating around the world like mushrooms. Among the more recent are the bases in Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Pakistan, India, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Morocco, Tunis, Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.(5) New bases are presently under construction in Eurasia along the borders of Russia and in areas close to China. The earlier Clinton Doctrine proclaimed that the United States has the unilateral right to use military force to protect markets and resources. Author Michael Swank says the Clinton Doctrine is taken for granted today. He explains, “With markets and resources we have a right to make sure that we control them, which is logical on the principle that we own the world anyway so of course we have that right.” (6)
Dr. Sheldon Wolin, emeritus professor of politics at Princeton University, states that under George Bush the United States has finally achieved an official ideology of imperial expansion comparable to that of Nazi Germany.(7)
The US policy of dividing up countries like Yugoslavia has caused concern in the Middle East, Russia and China. Today, Russia is well aware that the US and NATO hope to divide Russia into three regions, as described in Zbigniew Bryzinski’s book, The Grand Chessboard: Western Russia would be integrated into Europe; Siberia would be separated from Russia; and the Asian republics would be given independence. Both Russia and China are concerned about the relentless expansion of NATO toward their borders.
The military bases spread out over the world have done very little to aid the growth of markets for the US. Taxpayer money funds not only America’s military bases, but the corporations that run them. The current economic depression and the steadily growing public debt, now exceeding nine trillion dollars, has harmed the US social infrastructure in areas like public education and health care. It has also caused the US to lose its competitiveness in manufacturing products to meet civilian needs. Simultaneously, the US has lost international markets to China, India, Russia, and some EU countries.
On June 15, 2001, China, Russia and four of their central Asian neighbors, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, established the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a new regional group pursuing security and cooperation. The SCO is gaining influence internationally as more and more nations seek to join the group. Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and India hold observer status, and nations as diverse as Bangladesh, Belarus, Nepal and the Philippines have expressed interest in affiliating with the SCO. (8)
Yevgeny Primakov, head of Russian trade and industry, has declared that the global economy no longer has a single undisputed leader. Russia and China, under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, have worked to create a multi-polar world.
In May, 2008, Russia hosted the first meeting of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), bringing together four nations that are home to forty percent of humanity and representing the fastest growing emerging economies in the world. BRIC is being built on the foundation of a successful trilateral collaboration known as RIC (Russia, India and China).
Anthony Ling, managing director of Goldman Sachs International, noting the rising power of the four BRIC countries, characterizes them as “the new economic tigers.” The US is now lagging behind them in terms of the percentage of energy companys world wide. (9)
The new economic power exercised by BRIC and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has created a new balance in world politics. The SCO has fostered economic and investment cooperation, including joint projects in the fuel and energy sectors, agriculture, and other spheres. The nations within the SCO have established relations with international bodies, including the United Nations, the European Union, the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), and the Islamic Conference.
In October, 2007, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), consisting of the presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhatan, Ky7rgistan, Russia, and Tajikistan signed an agreement with the SCO to broaden cooperation on issues of security, crime, and drug trafficking. The major purpose of this agreement was to reaffirm that all participating states will be protected from the foreign threats. “Signatories would not be able to join other military alliances or other groups of states, while aggression against one signatory would be perceived as an aggression against all.”(10) The CSTO, an observer organization of the United Nations, offered aid and assistance in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, but NATO refused, indicating that they would rely instead on an expanded military presence. (11)
Russia and China feel that their union with SCO, CSTO and BRIC proves that a uni-polar world is out of date, and that a multi-polar world, based on cooperation and mutual support rather than competition and intimidation, will become the world’s standard.
By Paul Stuart
29 April 2002
Camp Bondsteel, the biggest “from scratch” foreign US military base since the Vietnam War is near completion in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo. It is located close to vital oil pipelines and energy corridors presently under construction, such as the US sponsored Trans-Balkan oil pipeline. As a result defence contractors—in particular Halliburton Oil subsidiary Brown & Root Services—are making a fortune.
In June 1999, in the immediate aftermath of the bombing of Yugoslavia, US forces seized 1,000 acres of farmland in southeast Kosovo at Uresevic, near the Macedonian border, and began the construction of a camp.
Camp Bondsteel is known as the “grand dame” in a network of US bases running both sides of the border between Kosovo and Macedonia. In less than three years it has been transformed from an encampment of tents to a self sufficient, high tech base-camp housing nearly 7,000 troops—three quarters of all the US troops stationed in Kosovo.
There are 25 kilometres of roads and over 300 buildings at Camp Bondsteel, surrounded by 14 kilometres of earth and concrete barriers, 84 kilometres of concertina wire and 11 watch towers. It is so big that it has downtown, midtown and uptown districts, retail outlets, 24-hour sports halls, a chapel, library and the best-equipped hospital anywhere in Europe. At present there are 55 Black Hawk and Apache helicopters based at Bondsteel and although it has no aircraft landing strip the location was chosen for its capacity to expand. There are suggestions that it could replace the US airforce base at Aviano in Italy.
According to Colonel Robert L. McClure, writing in the engineers professional Bulletin, “Engineer planning for operations in Kosovo began months before the first bomb was dropped. At the outset, planners wanted to use the lessons learned in Bosnia and convinced decision makers to reach base-camp ‘end state’ as quickly as possible.”
Initially US military engineers took control of 320 kilometres of roads and 75 bridges in the surrounding area for military use and laid out a base camp template involving soldiers living quarters, helicopter flight paths, ammunition holding areas and so on.
McClure explains how the Engineer Brigade were instructed “to merge construction assets and integrate them with the contractor, Brown & Root Services Corporation, to build not one but two base camps [the other is Camp Monteith] for a total of 7,000 troops.”
According to McClure, “At the height of the effort, about 1,000 former US military personnel, hired by Brown & Root, along with more than 7,000 Albanian local nationals, joined the 1,700 military engineers. From early July and into October , construction at both camps continued 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Brown & Root Services provides all the support services to Camp Bondsteel. This includes 600,000 gallons of water per-day, enough electricity to supply a city of 25,000 and a supply centre with 14,000 product lines. It washes 1,200 bags of laundry, supplies 18,000 meals per day and operates 95 percent of the rail and airfield facilities. It also provides the camps firefighting service. Brown & Root are now the largest employers in Kosovo, with more than 5,000 local Kosovan Albanians and another 15,000 on its books.
Staff at Camp Bondsteel rarely venture outside the compound and their activities are secretive. Whilst other KFOR patrols are small and mobile with soldiers wearing soft caps and instructed to integrate with the local population, US military personnel leave Bondsteel in either helicopters or as part of infrequent but large heavily armed convoys.
In unnamed interviews US troops complain that hostility to their presence is growing as local inhabitants compare the investment in Camp Bondsteel with the continuing decline in their own living standards.
Those visiting Camp Bondsteel describe it as a journey through 100 years in time. The area surrounding the camp is extremely poor with an unemployment rate of 80 percent. Then Bondsteel appears on the horizon with its mass of communication satellites, antennae and menacing attack helicopters circling above. Brown & Root pay Kosova workers between $1 and $3 per hour. The local manager said wages were so low because, “We can’t inflate the wages because we don’t want to over inflate the local economy.”
The escalating US presence at Bondsteel was accompanied by increased activity by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Since its appearance most Serbs, Roma and Albanians opposed to the KLA have been murdered or driven out. Those remaining dare not leave their houses to buy food at the local stores and the need for military escorts stretch from children’s swimming pools to tractors taken away for repair. According to observers the KLA continue to act with virtual impunity in the US sector despite the high tech military intelligence facilities at Bondsteel.
When US troops arrive at Camp Bondsteel, they are more likely to be met by a Brown & Root employee directing them to their accommodation and equipment areas. According to G. Cahlink in Government Executive Magazine (February 2002), “Army peace keepers joke that they’re missing a patch on their camouflage fatigues. ‘We need one that says Sponsored by Brown & Root,’ says a staff sergeant, who, like more than nearly 10,000 soldiers in the region, has come to rely on Brown and Root Services, a Houston based contractor, for everything from breakfast to spare parts for armoured Humvees.”
The contract to service Camp Bondsteel is the latest in a string of military contracts awarded to Brown & Root Services. Its fortunes have grown as US militarism has escalated. The company is part of the Halliburton Corporation, the largest supplier of products and services to the oil industry.
In 1992 Dick Cheney, as Secretary of Defence in the senior Bush administration, awarded the company a contract providing support for the US army’s global operations. Cheney left politics and joined Halliburton as CEO between 1995 and 2000. He is now US vice president in the junior Bush administration. In 1992 Brown & Root built and maintained US army bases in Somalia earning $62 million. In 1994 Brown & Root built bases and support systems for 18,000 troops in Haiti doubling its earnings to $133 million. The company received a five-year support contract in 1999 worth $180 million per-year to build military facilities in Hungary, Croatia and Bosnia. It was Camp Bondsteel, however, that was dubbed “the mother of all contracts” by the Washington based Contract Services Association of America. There, “We do everything that does not require us to carry a gun,” said Brown & Roots director David Capouya.
The aim of outsourcing military support and services to private contractors has been to free up more soldiers for combat duties. A US Department of Defence (DoD) review in 2001 insisted that the use of contractors would escalate: “Only those functions that must be done at DoD should be kept at DoD.”
In sectors controlled by other Western powers, KFOR soldiers who are living in bombed out apartment blocks and old factories joke, “What are the two things that can be seen from space? One is the Great Wall of China, the other is Camp Bondsteel.”
More seriously a senior British military officer told the Washington Post, “It is an obvious sign that the Americans are making a major commitment to the Balkan region and plan to stay.” One analyst described the US as having taken advantage of favourable circumstances to create a base that would be large enough to accommodate future military plans.
Camp Bondsteel has become a key venue for important policy speeches by leading officials of the Bush administration.
On June 5, 2001 US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld explained to troops at Camp Bondsteel what role they played in the new administration’s economic strategy. He declared, “How much should we spend on the armed services? ...My view is we don’t spend on you, we invest in you. The men and women in the armed services are not a drain on our economic strength. Indeed you safeguard it. You’re not a burden on our economy, you are the critical foundation for growth.”
One month later, President George W. Bush made his first trip abroad to see US troops at the camp. He traveled directly from the Rome G8 summit, where tensions with European governments had come to the fore. In a speech described as a “retrenching” of the US in Europe, he insisted that US troops were in Kosovo to stay, had gone in together and would “leave together”. In a break from normal procedure, in front of cheering troops, Bush signed into law a Congress-approved increase in military spending of $1.9 billion.
Since then Camp Bondsteel has continued to grow, as it spearheads the first phase in a realignment of US military bases in Europe and eastward. The Bondsteel template is now being applied in Afghanistan and the new bases in the former Soviet Republics.
According to leaked comments to the press, European politicians now believe that the US used the bombing of Yugoslavia specifically in order to establish Camp Bondsteel. Before the start of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the Washington Post insisted, “With the Middle-East increasingly fragile, we will need bases and fly over rights in the Balkans to protect Caspian Sea oil.”
The scale of US oil corporations investment in the exploitation of Caspian oil fields and the US government demand for the economy to be less dependent on imported oil, particularly from the Middle-East, demands a long term solution to the transportation of oil to European and US markets. The US Trade & Development Agency (TDA) has financed initial feasibility studies, with large grants, and more recently advanced technical studies for the New York based AMBO (Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria Oil) Trans-Balkan pipeline.
Announcing a grant for an advanced technical study in 1999 for the AMBO oil pipeline through Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania, TDA director J. Joseph Grandmaison declared, “The competition is fierce to tap energy resources in the Caspian region....Over the last year , TDA has been actively promoting the development of multiple pipelines to connect these vast resources with Western markets. This grant represents a significant step forward for this policy and for US business interests in the Caspian region.”
The $1.3 billion trans-Balkan AMBO pipeline is one of the most important of these multiple pipelines. It will pump oil from the tankers that bring it across the Black Sea to the Bulgarian oil terminus at Burgas, through Macedonia to the Albanian Adriatic port of Vlore. From there it will be pumped on to huge 300,000 ton tankers and sent on to Europe and the US, bypassing the Bosphorus Straits—the congested and only route out of the Black Sea where tankers are restricted to 150,000 tons.
The initial feasibility study for AMBO was conducted in 1995 by none other than Brown & Root, as was an updated feasibility study in 1999. In another twist, the former director of Oil & Gas Development for Europe and Africa for Brown & Root Energy Services, Ted Ferguson, was appointed as the new president of AMBO  after the death of former president and founder of AMBO, Macedonian born Mr Vuko Tashkovikj.
According to a recent Reuters article, Ferguson declared that Exxon-Mobil and Chevron, two of the worlds largest oil corporations, are preparing to finance the AMBO project.
The building of AMBO risks antagonising Turkey, the US’s main ally in the region. According to the Reagan Information Interchange, “While the United States is making an advantageous economic decision, it is overlooking its crucial strategic relationship with Turkey.”
The US is also antagonising its European allies and Russia with Camp Bondsteel and other smaller military bases run alongside the proposed AMBO pipeline route. It has been built near the mouth of the Presevo valley and energy Corridor 8, which the European Union has sponsored since 1994 and regards as a strategic route east-west for global trade.
In April 1999, British General Michael Jackson, the commander in Macedonia during the NATO bombing of Serbia, explained to the Italian paper Sole 24 Ore “Today, the circumstances which we have created here have changed. Today, it is absolutely necessary to guarantee the stability of Macedonia and its entry into NATO. But we will certainly remain here a long time so that we can also guarantee the security of the energy corridors which traverse this country.”
The newspaper added, “It is clear that Jackson is referring to the 8th corridor, the East-West axis which ought to be combined to the pipeline bringing energy resources from Central Asia to terminals in the Black Sea and in the Adriatic, connecting Europe with Central Asia. That explains why the great and medium sized powers, and first of all Russia, don’t want to be excluded from the settling of scores that will take place over the next few months in the Balkans.”
Behind the Milosevic trial: the US, Europe and the Balkan catastrophe
[4 July 2001]
Why is NATO at war with Yugoslavia? World power, oil and gold
[24 May 1999]